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In May 2009, a Xerxes fiberglass wet well and valve vault were installed as a lift station for the Mountain Falls subdivision in Pahrump, Nev. Ultimately, the Jane Avenue lift station will help transport wastewater for the development that will include 4,200 single family homes, a day care center, a water park, a large recreational gymnasium, a casino and a church. Previously, Oregon-based Romtec Utilities used only concrete for the structural components of their pre-engineered package lift stations, said Mark Sheldon, Romtec’s vice president of engineering, marketing and sales. Now, Xerxes fiberglass products are part of Romtec’s expanded product offering.
“Xerxes’ background in buried structures, their expertise in the petrochemical market, their overall technical expertise and the product’s structural integrity made them an easy choice for us,” Sheldon explained. “I don’t know of another fiberglass manufacturer who is even close to them.”
When deciding what product the developer wanted for this new residential and commercial subdivision, a Xerxes wet well was the obvious choice, said Frank Strand, American West’s vice president of land development. “This is the first lift station we’ve done. I’d seen another one, a concrete one, and I knew that wasn’t the way we wanted to go. I’d done my homework. We were much more confident in a ribbed fiberglass tank,” Strand explained.
The tanks are designed with integral ribs for added structural strength. Because the ribs and tank are made of the same materials—high-quality resin and glass—and are manufactured as a monolithic structure, the products, whether installed vertically or horizontally, are very robust vessels.
One of the many advantages of the fiberglass wet well has to do with hydrogen sulfide, the gas released in raw sewage. “It is very, very corrosive,” explained Sheldon. “Especially if you’re in a high temperature climate, fiberglass is the obvious choice,” he continued. Indeed, fiberglass is inherently impervious to this corrosion.
Regardless of the climate, Xerxes’ watertight, structurally strong fiberglass products have many advantages. When the 12-ft-diameter, single-wall wet well was delivered to Nevada, it was accompanied by a prefabricated 10-ft-diameter, fiberglass valve vault, complete with the valves, pipes and access covers necessary for the lift station to function properly. In other words, the lift station was all factory preassembled.
As part of the Xerxes–Romtec partnership, Romtec Utilities’ technical personnel went to the Xerxes manufacturing facility in Anaheim, Calif., and worked together with Xerxes employees to ensure all the Romtec components were correctly incorporated into the Xerxes components. “You can’t do that with concrete,” said Sheldon, referring to the factory assembly of all components and quality control possible in a tightly controlled manufacturing environment.
The shipping and installation went as smoothly as the design, fabrication and assembly of the lift station, which highlights additional advantages of Xerxes products: They are easy to ship and install. “As fast as they could get it off the truck and into the hole, the wet well was set,” said Strand, who was on site for the installation. That had much to do with how well planned the installation was by everyone involved.
Greg Kiddell, owner and manager of the excavating company, Sati Construction, said the installation “went like clockwork.” And the result? “It was a dream, the way the tank went in easily and set perfectly, just the way it was meant to. I’d like to do more with Xerxes,” he concluded.